Monday, October 12, 2015

Sidhe- The Incubus Saga (+Giveaway!)

Title: Sidhe
Author: Amanda Meuwissen 
Series: The Incubus Saga #3
Pages: 524
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Big World Network
Format: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal 
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Nathan Grier returns from the Veil a changed man. The consequences of his time with Malak, the dark sidhe king, and the deal made to free him may be more than he can bear. The weakening of the Veil and new enemies foretell of a greater battle still ahead.

With Nathan’s brother Jim now an Awakened changeling, and Nathan’s role in Malak’s plans finally revealed, Nathan’s love for fae hunter and incubus, Sasha Kelly, may not be enough to save him after all.

~Let Your Characters Tell YOU Who They Are~
Not every character is created the same way, even if you’re an author who has a certain method you follow when taking on a new story. While Sasha Kelly, the incubus character in my recently completed trilogy The Incubus Saga, isn’t the protagonist, there wouldn’t be a story without him.

I had a vague idea many years ago of an incubus story I wanted to tell. I knew generally what Sasha looked like, his name, what he was, but not a real feel for his personality. The story was actually going to be about Sasha and a teenage character, who in the end I did still add to The Incubus Saga though in no way romantically involved with Sasha—a fan favorite actually, Evelyn (Leven) Taylor.

Whenever I tried to write the initial story I had in mind for them, nothing would come out. The bare bones was there, but the heart of the story eluded me. I knew then that I couldn’t write the story yet as it was in my head and held off.

Cut to nearly a year later when at last the muse was inspired and told me what Sasha’s story really was. It wasn’t about Leven, though he played a role, and Sasha’s character was vastly different than I’d initially imagined. It was while watching an episode of the TV show Supernatural—and anyone who’s read The Incubus Saga can understand the inspiration drawn from the show in general—and something just clicked, suddenly I had an epiphany and I knew exactly who Sasha was, his personality, his likes and dislikes, his backstory, everything.

Never before in my time as a writer have I ever had a character just appear before me fully formed like that and say there you go, this, this is my story. Well, I spent the next several years writing it, editing it, tweaking it, and again, Sasha isn’t even the main character, but it was the epiphany that night that started it all.

I doubt I’ll ever have another character experience like it. But it does help hammer home something I’ve discovered as a writer. My characters are always the most fleshed out, the most real and relatable when at least some part of them feels like divine intervention. Not to the extent of Sasha usually, but small things I haven’t yet realized about my characters just suddenly making sense, almost like magic.

I tell people all the time, I don’t create characters; I discover them. I don’t choose things about them; they reveal the truth to me over time.

A more common example of this is for my current work in progress, Life as a Teenage Vampire. As I was working out the details of the protagonist for this story, I knew certain things about him right away. Age, generally how he looked, vague personality, where his story would go, what he was, and what he wanted. But there were still enough things missing that I didn’t feel I was ready to write his story just yet.

Part of how I try to get the muse working to reveal to me those missing elements when starting a new story is simply jotting down notes. With what I do know, what might happen for this scene, that scene, why would a character react this way or that? And maybe it’s part of being a writer, something I can’t explain to someone who isn’t one, but the ideas almost always come naturally if I’m on the right track.

I knew, for example, that this new character, Emery, had a non-American grandmother, but I couldn’t pin down the heritage, and that’s what was tripping me up, this ethnic background that could have an impact on the character and his story in some way, if only I could realize what it was. Greek? No. Romanian? Not quite. And then I felt quite silly, because I knew his surname was Mavus, and that this grandmother would be on his paternal side, so I did a simple name search: what countries is that surname most prevalent? The answer: Turkey.

It might seem like a simple thing, but in that moment several things clicked; his father is Turkish, born there, raised in the US, so very much an American in most ways if no one knew his parents, though his mother moved back to Turkey after her husband passed away, and my main character only rarely gets to see his paternal grandmother now, though she is very warm and doting when she visits.

Even if this doesn’t end up having a huge significance on the story, it’s part of who the character is, how he looks, how people think of and react to him. Even if the detail in question was something as benign as his favorite color instead (gold, by the way), those types of facts are something you need to know about your characters, because understanding their inner workings is how you tell their tale with legitimacy and heart. 

How you get to that part can vary, maybe through very technical means most of the way, with sparks of inspiration from unlikely places, but it is my firm belief that the writing comes the most easily if you’re on the right track, telling the story you are meant to tell.

So if you can’t quite get a story out of you, maybe you haven’t discovered everything you need to know about your characters yet. Don’t worry, don’t rush, just wait, give them time, and when they’re ready for their story to be told, they’ll tell it to you.
~Try an Excerpt!~
“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha tried to say calmly, inching closer with hands held up in seeming surrender.  Jim did the same.

Nathan knew he had to be a pitiable sight with that weakly held knife, but he’d use it, damn it, he would.  Somehow he’d use it. 

His back hit the corner of the room. 

“Playing that game?” Nathan scoffed. “I know better.  You haven’t been them in…in so long, I…I don’t even remember.  I don’t remember…”

“Nathan,” Jim pleaded, moving closer with one hand outstretched.  He looked so strange to Nathan, almost believable with those dark blue eyes so caring, so concerned.  “I can’t imagine what it must have been like, but it’s over.  You’re not in the Veil anymore.  We got you out.  You’re safe.  With us.”

“Please believe us, Nathan,” Sasha said. “Just look at us.”  He gestured to himself; to Jim.  Sasha too looked so normal, so honest and how Nathan remembered him.  “It’s really us.  You’re safe, Nathan.  Please recognize us…”

He recognized them.  But it had to be a trick.  Another damn trick like all the others. 

“I gave you what you wanted,” Nathan said again.  He was so cold.  Nothing looked right.  Nothing felt right.  He couldn’t understand why this was happening when he had finally given in.

“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha said more firmly, like maybe Nathan just couldn’t hear them.

“Malak took you and we’re so sorry,” Jim said. “We wish we could have gotten you out sooner, but you have to know us.  Please tell me you still know us…”

“Malak…?” Nathan glared at the false images before him, knife still held firm, warning them not to get closer.  “It had nothing to do with that, you know that, you know.  I didn’t…I didn’t go to the Veil.”

Jim and Sasha stopped their progression toward him, their eyes wide and disbelieving.  They shared a pained look, not knowing what to say until finally Jim spoke, slow and gentle.

“Nathan, don’t you remember?  Malak said killing the spriggan instead of banishing it broke the deal. That’s why we couldn’t win, why we couldn’t save you.  You went to the Veil, Nathan.  You’ve been in the Veil.  But you’re out now.  I don’t know what Malak did to you there, but we got you out.”

It almost made sense, as if a second reality were trying to push into Nathan’s mind: memories of what Jim was saying, memories he knew weren’t fabrications, and yet…how could he remember things happening two different ways?

The Veil?  Had that been the Veil?  To him it had felt like life.
~Meet Amanda!~ 
Amanda Meuwissen is the author of The Incubus Saga and The Collector. Amanda also serves as COO and Managing Editor for She oversees editing and series selection, and is featured as a narrator for several BWN series. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).
Amanda will be awarding free books to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. I can see how SUPERNATURAL could inspire.

    1. Oh yes, especially season 1, which my husband and I blew through in only a week or so during that time. Plus as someone who grew up loving X-Files, anything modern paranormal fantasy strikes a pleasant chord with me.

  2. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

    1. That's tough to say because I was honestly so young. I have vague memories of being single digits, writing vampire stories even before my vocabulary started growing. I think it was my constant exposure to stories, whether books, movies, TV, and wanting to fill the gaps where those stories weren't enough. That's usually what motivates me to write now; if I want to READ a particular tale or topic or idea, but can't find anything that satisfies me, I write it myself. I was also the youngest of five much older siblings, so I tended to play by myself alot in my younger years, which prompted me to invent stories and be very creative when playing dress up or acting things out. Putting that to paper was just a natural evolution, I think.

  3. Thank you so much for allowing me to stop by and share this guest post. It was a lot of fun to write about my process with creating characters, and I hope some fellow writers out there are inspired and that a few readers here consider checking the series out. Thanks again!

  4. I enjoyed the post and the excerpt, sounds like my kind of series, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank YOU! Please do check it out and if you enjoy the series, let me know!